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Thursday, June 17, 2004

I might have to "liberate" a Robert Fisk piece (his newest, at Titled "Iraq, 1917"). It's too darn pertinent to the U.S.' current situation in Iraq. Fisk gets into the history of the British occupation, which has a zillion parallels to the current U.S. occupation. Here's a paragraph or two:

. . . 'Within six months [from September, 1919], Britain was fighting a military insurrectionin Iraq and David Lloyd George, the prime minister, was facing calls for a military withdrawal. "Is it not for the benefit of the people of that country that it should be governed so as to enable them to develop this land which has been withered and shrivelled up by oppression? What would happen if we withdrew?" Lloyd George would not abandon Iraq to "anarchy and confusion". By this stage, British officials in Baghdad were blaming the violence on "local political agitation, originated outside Iraq", suggesting that Syria might be involved.'

. . .[note - we're skipping a page or three here]

. . . 'And so we come to the immediate future of Iraq. How are we to "control" Iraq while claiming that we have handed over "full soverignty"? Again, the archives come to our rescue. The Royal Air Force, again with Churchill's support, bombed rebellious villages and dissident tribesmen in Iraq. Churchill urged the employment of mustard gas [italics mine. Perhaps we could substitue the word "torture" here?], which had been used against Shia rebels in 1920.'

And so we face a "handover" of power on June 30th that won't be a real handover, and it may come to pass that the U.S. will regret not withdrawing sooner rather than later. Not because of domestic political pressure, but rather military defeat. Yes, the U.S. can be defeated in Iraq. The British learned this lesson the hard way. I hope that history doesn't continue to repeat itself at its present break-neck pace.

Andrew 2:28 PM : |


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